Preprogrammed Starcom21 on BCD396XT

Status
Not open for further replies.

jclarkr6

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2007
Messages
155
Location
Coles County, Illinois
I just got my BCD396XT today and was pleasantly surprised to find that it came preprogrammed with Illinois Starmcom21. I've gotten good results from the ISP's District 12 Dispatch and District 9 Dispatch, and decent results with District 6 Dispatch. I live in District 10 (Coles County), and I was hoping to monitor District 10 Dispatch. However, District 10 Dispatch does not come in all that well and I experience a lot of "drop-outs" with District 10. The "drop-outs" got really bad last night. Some "drop-outs" do occur with the other districts as well. This

What I really want to know is, has anyone else had this type of problem with the preprogrammed StarCom21 system? I would also be interested to know what other people's opinion was in regards to the preprogrammed Starcom21 system on the BCD396XT. For example, did you find that you had to program in additional frequencies that were not preprogrammed into the scanner (on the StarCom21 system)? Were any of the settings (or groups) incorrectly preprogrammed for the Starcom21 system? I'm trying to figure out what, if anything, I need to do to enhance the reception of my scanner and to pick up the digital systems in my area. I live only a few miles away from a StarCom21 site in Mattoon and and I am using a 800 MHz 2.5 db Gain Professional Portable Antenna. I would appreciate any comments or advice.
 

bob_leach_3

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2004
Messages
70
Location
Ashmore/Charleston, IL
Starcom 21

I know nothing about that scanner, though I do know that if it has 866.9125 programmed as a control channel, it should be hearing D-10 and 12 often, crystal clear in Mattoon. That has not changed to 851.9125 yet but probably will (reband) soon. It's possible the settings on your scanner may prevent the audio from coming in clearly but I don't know anything about that. What towers are you monitoring Starcom from? The Mattoon site should come in clearly if you are anywhere near town. Though I do hear ISPERN broadcasts coming in from other areas at night sometimes, and those often break up because they are far away.
 

bob_leach_3

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2004
Messages
70
Location
Ashmore/Charleston, IL
Starcom 21

I also forgot to mention, on my PRO-96 scanner, to hear starcom, I don't have any talkgroups programmed, so that it receives all radio traffic from a tower, no matter what talkgroup comes across. You might want to see if certain TG's aren't programmed in the scanner for D-10. Maybe you are possibly just hearing night D-10 ISPERN traffic on a tower other than the Mattoon site, but not actual D-10 dispatch talkgroups?
 

RoninJoliet

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2003
Messages
3,086
Location
ILL
I also have the 396XT digital scanner, its a fantastic digital scanner much better than the 396t here in my area of Will Co....The preprogrammed Starcom SQK-28 works great as programmed here....I use the RS800 rubber duck and it will hear towers 101, 125, 126, 102 just fine and they are about 25 miles from my location....Sometimes movement of the scanner to get a good 2-5 bars is needed....700/800 digital is VERY critcal and much different that analog trunking....The preprogrammed Starcom SQK-28 has 78 Sites, i have matched up the freqys in these sites to the towers which took a long time...Now that there rebanding i have to return to each site and drop the freqys 15mgz as they have rebanded about 25 towers so far....I plan on purchasing the 996XT soon and that will be another challenge for SQK-28.....The Uniden 396XT seems to track Starcom better than my GRE500....I also have a PRO96 and have it connected to a 800mgz beam which sometimes brings in T134 in Lasalle Co about 50 miles to my west....
 

jclarkr6

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2007
Messages
155
Location
Coles County, Illinois
Thanks!

Thank you to Bob and RoninJoliet for responding to my question. After changing the P25 Adjust level from 50 to 100, my reception seemed to improve. I also tinkered with a few more settings that might have solved the issue (For example, I had to turn the Weather Priority setting off). I think the real problem is that this is my first digital trunking scanner and I am just trying to figure out how the thing works. RoninJoliet, I agree that this seems to be a great scanner. In the last few days I've taken it around central Illinois and I have been impressed with its performance. However, I have not found the CD-ROM "manual" to be very helpful, which is unfortunate because I am programming the scanner by hand (I own a Mac, which means that there is no software available for my BCD396XT).

I confirmed that 866.9125 is programmed into the scanner, and I think it is programmed in as a control channel (based on the scanner's behavior), but I am not sure how to confirm this. I can't seem to find anything about that in the "manual" either, although it is entirely possible that I am missing something (RoninJoliet, do you have any advice?). Regardless, District 10 now seems to be coming in well for the most part. However, the Champaign control channel (866.9375) is programmed into the scanner too and I wonder if it sometimes locks onto that signal. If I have any more problems with D10 traffic I might try locking out 866.9375 to see what happens.

Bob, I like your idea about monitoring all traffic from the Mattoon Tower. After reading your response I checked the talk groups that were programmed into the scanner and the only ones from district 10 were
the talkgroups for Dispatch A and Dispatch B. I programmed in the rest of the talk groups listed on radioreference (because I'm not sure how to monitor the station without any talkgroups), I am waiting to see if I get any hits on those. I'm not sure how to program my scanner so that I hear all the transmissions from the Mattoon Starcom tower. I guess I would need to create a new system and put in the frequencies for the Mattoon tower without entering any talkgroups. I might give that a try to see how it works. The BCD396XT certainly seems to be an exceptional scanner, but it will take some time before I am able to fully operate and utilize all of its functions and features.

Thank you both for your advice.
 

RoninJoliet

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2003
Messages
3,086
Location
ILL
In my previous post i mentioned there are 78 "Sites" programmed in the SQK-28, if you count those "sites" from the start the "25th" site has Tower-234-Mattoon-Coles Co, the CC's are 866.9125, 867.4375, 867.9625....You need to go to Home Page , or RadioReference.com - Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference and print a list of the towers and talkgroups, its a very large system...The first freqy on Mattoon tower is the primary CC, the other two are backups....All three should be in your scanner...Very soon as with other towers in the state there gonna reband and drop the three by 15mgz so you should go to that site or make a new one with the new rebanded freqys....=851.9125, 852.4375, 852.9625....You can also create a "custom search" for 866.000-868.9875 and as you travel around the scanner will stop on active CC's in your area and show you the tower"'s ...If you operate the Starcom system in the "Search" mode you will see all talkgroups that pop up on each tower....I also have programmed the scanner completely by hand....I like to know the scanner completely in and out....
 

bob_leach_3

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2004
Messages
70
Location
Ashmore/Charleston, IL
Starcom 21

Glad to help! That scanner sounds awesome. I bought my PRO-96 about two years ago so I will stick with that, though the BCD396XT must be so much better. Maybe in a few years...:) I'll bet there is some kind of setting that leaves a tower site "open", in other words I think it would let you monitor all traffic, though that may become a hassle, bc there is often Ameren traffic on starcom as well, especially in the daytime. From my listening, D-10 mostly just uses the 2 dispatch tg's and ISPERN patch. Occasionally one of the auxilary tg's will come on when there is a speed detail (I heard a convoy of troopers once for that) or other operation but I rarely hear those. Good luck!
 

jclarkr6

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2007
Messages
155
Location
Coles County, Illinois
RoninJoliet, thanks for all the additional information about the 396xt. I found the Mattoon site and and I have labeled it as such. I am now also able to better utilize the ID Search and ID Scan features. Your responses have definitely helped me to develop a better understanding of the 396xt. As badly as I wanted to find software to program my scanner, I'm actually glad I am doing it all by hand. You were right when you said that programming the scanner by hand helps you to better understand the scanner. I've had it for four days and every day I learn more about it. Plus it's been a lot of fun!

Bob, I must admit that this scanner is pretty neat. I can't compare it to any other digital scanner because this is the first digital scanner that I have ever used, but I have been amazed at the clarity of the audio and at the sensitivity of it. At my house I can pick up District 6, District 10, District 12, and District 9 dispatches and I have twice picked up District 21 dispatch.. I am really excited about having the opportunity to learn about and use this scanner. RoninJoliet has taught me how to set my scanner so that all the talkgroups that are active on the tower can be listened to and the IDs for each TG are displayed. This feature works great on this scanner. I have heard the Ameren talkgroups on occassion, but if they get too annoying I can always switch to ID Scan mode and lock out the Ameren TGs.

Thanks again to both of you for all your help!
 

jclarkr6

Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2007
Messages
155
Location
Coles County, Illinois
RoninJoliet, thanks for all the additional information about the 396xt. I found the Mattoon site and and I have labeled it as such. I am now able to better utilize the ID Search and ID Scan features. Your responses have definitely helped me to develop a better understanding of the 396xt. As badly as I wanted to find software to program my scanner, I'm actually glad I am doing it all by hand. You were right when you said that programming the scanner by hand helps you to better understand the scanner. I've had it for four days and every day I learn more about it. Plus it's been a lot of fun!

Bob, I must admit that this scanner is pretty neat. I can't compare it to any other digital scanner because this is the first digital scanner that I have ever used, but I have been amazed at the clarity of the audio and at the sensitivity. I pick up District 6, District 10 (of course), District 12, and District 9 dispatches and I have twice picked up District 21 dispatch. I am really excited about having the opportunity to learn about and use this scanner. RoninJoliet has taught me how to set my scanner so that all the talkgroups that are active on the tower can be listened to and the IDs for each TG are displayed. This feature works great on this scanner. I have heard the Ameren talkgroups on occassion, but if they get too annoying I can always switch to ID Scan mode and lock out the Ameren TGs.

Thanks again to both of you for all your help!
 

TimGreen

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 29, 2008
Messages
5
Location
West Chicago, IL 60185
H E L P -- PLEASE

I live in DuPage County and just bought a used BCD396XT with nothing programmed in it. I have the ARC-XT software and a sunxcription to RadioReference. So far I have not figured out how to program in the Starcom21 DuPage system to the point it works. I have tried several times and I see it scanning but never hear anything.

Is there a good step by step turorial I have missed?
Is there a radio shop somewhere resonably close who will do the programming?

Thanks,
Tim
 

nick1427d

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
409
Location
IL
Tim,

If it's a brand new BCD396XT, I found the preprogrammed Starcom systems to be wrong. I had several issues here near StL with it. Therefore it might be beneficial for you to reset your scanner first then program in your systems.

Press 2 + 9 + Hold then turn on scanner. When it asks to restore programmed list or whatever hit No

Verify your frequencies first here:

StarCom21 Statewide Illinois P25 Trunking System, Statewide, Illinois - Scanner Frequencies

If your attempting you listen to DuPage simulcast, program that simulcast system listed in the above link. Then put in all your TGs.

Also try this:

Easier to Read BCD396XT Digital Scanner Manual
 

RoninJoliet

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2003
Messages
3,086
Location
ILL
U need to program the freqys for T101-Lisle from this web site on the ILL database that has the ILL-Starcom system listed....All Ducom new TG's for Starcom are on Tower-101-Lisle... The CC's are the red and blue freqys...U need to set up a "System" on the 396XT and follow all prompts about assigning it to a SQKey....The CC is 773.84375 on T101-Lisle, West CGO uses TG2611.....
 

nick1427d

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
409
Location
IL
U need to program the freqys for T101-Lisle from this web site on the ILL database that has the ILL-Starcom system listed....All Ducom new TG's for Starcom are on Tower-101-Lisle... The CC's are the red and blue freqys...U need to set up a "System" on the 396XT and follow all prompts about assigning it to a SQKey....The CC is 773.84375 on T101-Lisle, West CGO uses TG2611.....
What he said
 

radioman2015

Member
Joined
May 28, 2015
Messages
3
Scanner for joliet police

Is there a scanner I can buy to receive Joliet police? I am an avid ham op but can find anything about Joliet Il ??? Also is there a computer app maybe?

Thanks
 

VASCAR2

Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2011
Messages
370
Location
So Illinois
Is there a scanner I can buy to receive Joliet police? I am an avid ham op but can find anything about Joliet Il ??? Also is there a computer app maybe?

Thanks
Elgin PD migrated to Starcom 21 and are listed in the data base under Kane County in the Starcom 21 page.

STARCOM21 Statewide Illinois P25 Trunking System, Statewide, Illinois - Scanner Frequencies

I thought I read where Elgin PD is encrypted and if so you will not be able to listen to them. I notice there is an Elgin PD patch to DuPage county. I do not know if this patch is activated only for certain incidents or is active all the time. Some patches are not encrypted so maybe someone will chime in who lives closer to Elgin.
 

RoninJoliet

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2003
Messages
3,086
Location
ILL
Joliet City PD-FD- have joined Starcom and use Tower 113 and is Total Encryption, no scanner can receive them as it is illegal......
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top